Thursday, 29 September 2011

An apple a day - but which one?

Something I often get asked is if you can get all the nutrients you need from food, without having to take supplements.

The short answer is yes all the nutrients we need are available in food but that I think we need to top up our nutrient intake with supplements if we want to be in tip top health.

That's not to say that you can't be in good health without taking supplements, if you're on a healthy high-nutrient, low-toxin diet, but the argument that our ancestors didn't need to take supplements just doesn't wash with me.

Our diets include less fruit, veg and healthy fats than our ancestors ate and we eat more antinutrients than they did (caffeine, alcohol, sugar - just weren't part of the Paleolithic diet). Our lives are also more stressful and polluted than our predecessors so our nutrient requirements are higher.

Our food is also less nutritious than it used to be due to how it is grown/reared and the amount of time it takes to get to our plates.

This is backed up by research that has found that older varieties of fruit and vegetables contain higher levels of nutrients than modern varieties. For example the older varieties of apples contain higher levels of anti-cancer phytonutrients than the new varieties. This is because some of these nutrients are bitter tasting, so as apples have been bread to taste sweeter they've also become less nutritious.

So when you're choosing your apple a day go for a cox or pippin rather than a gala or a granny smith and maybe add in a multivitamin for good measure.

No comments:

Post a Comment